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The Australian: "Whistleblower nurses stood bravely for cause"

December 19, 2003 -- Today The Australian ran an editorial praising five New South Wales (NSW) nurses its readers had nominated for the paper's "Australian of the Year Award" because they "blew the whistle on the unnecessary deaths of 19 patients at two Sydney public hospitals," despite being "dumped from their jobs, ignored by their superiors and shunned by their minister."

The editorial notes that revelations about poor care at the hospitals by nurses Nola Fraser, Sheree Martin, Vanessa Bragg, Yvonne Quinn, and Valerie Owen also led the NSW Government to pursue an inquiry into patient care in the state's public hospital system. Apparently, a health minister had tried to intimidate the nurses into remaining silent. In addition, the paper stated, the nurses were ostracized by colleagues and their mental health was questioned. The editorial noted that the NSW Opposition Leader had described the nurses' patient advocacy in the face of these obstacles as "possibly the bravest action I have seen in public life."

See The Australian's "Whistleblower nurses stood bravely for cause."


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